Zechariah 1:8 During the night I had a vision. . . .
Through the prophet Zechariah, God speaks to His people in very vivid visions. Zechariah comes on the scene toward the end of Haggai's prophecies. He, too, implores the people to repent and return to the Lord. Yes, it is a night season, but the day is coming. And Zechariah has much vision for it. He sees God blessing His people once again. He speaks of His people being the apple of his eye (2:8), the one He cares about greatly, the One for whom He is sensitive and protective, the one in whom He sees His own reflection. And not only them, but His heart and home are opened to others who will come to the Lord, as well, Jerusalem being a city without walls because of all that will live there. He Himself will be a ring of fire around them. The plumb line in the hands of Zerubbabel will finish the work of the Lord, 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty (4:6). Wickedness will be removed. The priest will be purified and set into office.
Zechariah's visions go beyond the present moment and on into the final restoration of God's people. They point to a day when the Jewish people will recognize their Messiah and turn to Him who will come and reign in victory. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. . . . On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity (12:10-13:1).
Zechariah foresees the day of the LORD (chapter 14). On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime--a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light. On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. What a day that will be!
Romans 11 is resplendent with God's heart for the Israelites. I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means!. . . God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. . . What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, as it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day." . . . . Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring?. . . ,I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brother, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received his mercy as a result of their disobedience in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you. For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. Paul had already stated how all of us must come to God (Romans 3:22-24). This righteousness form God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Let us receive the salvation offered us so freely looking to the day of the Lord, and let us pray for the Israelites to see Jesus Christ their Messiah, as well! In this dark time, let us, too have a vision of our Messiah and our hope in Him. Let us live in the light of that vision.